The rift between David Moyes and Wayne Rooney developed prior to his acrimonious £27million move to Old Trafford in 2004.
The pair later became involved in a libel battle following claims by Rooney in his autobiography, which was settled two years ago and Moyes now has a new-found respect for the 24-year-old after that fateful call.
'I had to give him a lot of credit for that. For me it showed his maturity, and he thanked us for the help that had been given to him at Everton.
'The court case had been won anyway so it was over as far as I was concerned, but I said to him: 'No problem, that's fine. It just shows the maturity and where you're coming to.'
'I got the impression it was something Wayne wanted to do, rather than someone suggesting it to him. It came across that he wanted to make the call and set things straight between us, and I appreciated that.'
Freed from the cloud of bitterness which had hung over the pair, Moyes can now express his admiration for the talent he played a key part in nurturing.
He even believes Rooney could one day go on to manage his country and be labelled a 'great'. He said: 'I think that might be the next part of his progress. Possibly after the World Cup, the next period for him could the England captaincy. He got an awful lot so young Wayne. It takes time for the whole thing to come together. He is still young. When he is 26, 27, 28 there is time enough for all that. I can see the word great coming then - not just at this present time.'
Moyes does not get rankled by the praise Sir Alex Ferguson is given for helping Rooney flourish. He said: 'No I don't get annoyed because Wayne is working with a brilliant manager. But I think when Wayne went he didn't calm all his exuberance and his moments.